Hazard mitigation describes sustained actions taken to prevent or minimize long-term risks to life and property from hazards and create successive benefits over time. Pre-disaster mitigation actions are taken in advance of a hazard event and are essential to breaking the disaster cycle of damage, reconstruction and repeated damage. With careful selection, successful mitigation actions are cost-effective means of reducing risk of loss over the long-term.
Since Pennsylvania’s founding by William Penn, hazard mitigation has been an inherent value of the Commonwealth. In Pennsylvania, natural, technological, and human-made hazards are managed through a system that is based on rights and responsibilities of individuals as well as local and state government. Through this system, the Commonwealth has created efforts to make communities safer and sustainable for future generations. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has been legislatively charged with coordinating Commonwealth government to prepare the State Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP).
Across the United States, natural and human-made disasters have led to increasing levels of deaths, injuries, property damage, and interruption of business and government services. The time, money and effort needed to recover from these disasters exhausts resources, diverting attention from important public programs and private agendas. Since 1954, there have been fifty-two Presidential Disaster Declarations and ten Presidential Emergency Declarations in Pennsylvania.
Accordingly, the Pennsylvania Hazard Mitigation State Planning Team (SPT), composed of government agency leaders, academia and other organizations, is updating the State HMP. The 2018 State HMP Update will guide the Commonwealth towards greater disaster resistance, while also respecting the character and needs of its local communities.
Please submit any comments you have on the 2013 HMP Update using the comment box below. Your comment will be posted on this webpage for others to reply to and read.